Petrizzo, I., Mikellidou, K., Avraam, S., Avraamides, M. & Arrighi, R.

Remapping of Peripersonal Space in Virtual Reality: An Exploratory Study

44rd European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) 2022 Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



It is well known that the space around us can be divided into two categories based on our ability to directly interact with the environment: the peri- and extra-personal space. In humans the border between the two can be experimen- tally measured with the use of a visuo-tactile detection task. However, this border is not static and the transition between near and far space can be modulated, with a short-period of tool-use training causing an enlargement of the peripersonal space. Yet, it is still unclear which prop- erty of the training triggers such an expansion and whether the peripersonal space holds the same properties in immer- sive virtual reality environments. In this study we attempted to reshape the peripersonal space in virtual reality with the use of different types of training. In particular, we compared the effect on the extension of peripersonal space after a training period in which subjects interacted with a target in the far space either through a hammer (direct contact) or by shooting a gun (undirect target contact). On top of this, the properties of the virtual reality allowed us to test the effect of different kinds of feedback during the training, with participants receiving both visual and Abstracts 185 proprioceptive feedback or visual only. Our preliminary results suggest that the kind of feedback is a key compo- nent for the modulation of the border of the peripersonal space in virtual reality and provide insight on the mechan- isms regulating its extension also in ecological settings.